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Omaha makes effort to recruit top talent

Posted at 10:31 AM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 13:07:54-05

With the population in the area coming in at close to 1 million people, it is no small city. 

New families are moving in from around the country to take advantage of the affordable housing, quality of life, excellent schools and solid economy. 

Now, efforts are underway to get even more people to put down roots in the city, but to do that, Omaha needs to recruit top talent to fill critical job openings. 

As the talent acquisition manager at Nebraska Medicine, Katie Beach is tasked with finding employees to fill hundreds of open positions in the medical system and as Omaha's unemployment rate has continued to shrink, her job openings have grown. 

"We have more openings right now because of the growth that's going on with the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center," she said. "We'll always be recruiting staff nurses to join our team. but yeah, its a challenge."

And it's not just Nebraska Medicine. Across the city, major employers, like Omaha Public Schools, also have more than 100 openings. 

"Ultimately, it's just more opportunities for people to find employment and stay in our region," Patricia Mayorga from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce said. 

In Omaha, the unemployment rate sits at 2.6 percent, well below the national average of 4.1 percent. This as employers like Nebraska Medicine expand, adding the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and new companies, like Toast, decide to move in. Toast has pledged to bring a few hundred jobs to Omaha in the next few years. 

"It's imperative both for us to be known nationwide and around the world as a place to come, not just for jobs, but really for the good quality of life," Mayorga said. 

Too few workers inside the city has lead to ramping up recruiting in nearby states and elsewhere. 

Beach says the top places they are recruiting from are California, South Dakota and Iowa, all three of those states are among the top 10 workers leave to take jobs in Nebraska. Others include Texas, Colorado and Kansas. 

And while the workforce is becoming less homegrown and more diverse, it's also giving Omaha a name across the country. 

It's always nice to attract people to the city," Beach said, "because it's a great place to live and work."